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Estimating Nitrogen and Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Loads for Container Nursery and Greenhouse Production Systems
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Pp. 466-471 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA) 701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7597)
Authors: John D. Lea-Cox, David S. Ross, Andrew G. Ristvey and Jason D. Murray
Keywords: Nitrogen, phosphorus, irrigation, leaching, runoff, time domain reflectometry, water and nutrient management planning, nutrient uptake efficiency, fertilization, soilless substrates, risk assessment, best management practices
In 1998, the state of Maryland adopted one of the toughest nutrient management planning laws in
the United States, requiring that virtually all agricultural operations to write and implement nitrogen-
(N) and phosphorus- (P) based management plans by December 31, 2002. Writing nutrient
management plans for most ornamental nursery and greenhouse operations is a complicated task,
since these operations grow a large number of plant species, and utilize a range of fertilization and
irrigation strategies. A nutrient management planning process has been developed which combines
water management (i.e. leaching fraction, interception efficiency and potential runoff) data with
nutrient management (source and application rate) data into an estimate of total daily maximum
loading (TMDL) rates. A risk assessment process based on operational management units identifies
those site-specific factors that contribute most to nutrient leaching and runoff, and enables targeted
best management practices to be developed to reduce the risk of N and P run-off into surface waters
and the Chesapeake Bay.